What to Wear in Desert Safari

Desert safaris are an exhilarating way to experience the beauty and thrill of the desert landscape. Whether you’re planning a trip to the Arabian Desert, Sahara Desert, or any other desert destination, proper attire is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. In this guide, we’ll provide you with tips and recommendations on what to wear on a desert safari to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the adventure.

What to Expect on a Desert Safari in Dubai

Before we dive into what to wear, it’s important to understand what to expect on a desert safari in Dubai. Typically, a desert safari includes activities such as dune bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, and an authentic Bedouin-style camp experience complete with traditional entertainment and a delicious BBQ dinner.

Clothing for Desert Safari

When it comes to clothing for a desert safari, it’s important to prioritize comfort, sun protection, and breathability. Here are some essential clothing items to consider:

  • Lightweight and breathable long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin from the sun and potential irritants like sand and dust.
  • A wide-brimmed hat or a headscarf to shield your face and neck from the sun.
  • Sunglasses with UV protection to safeguard your eyes from the harsh desert sun and glare.
  • Comfortable closed-toe shoes or boots to protect your feet from the hot sand and potential hazards.
What to Wear in Desert Safari

Fabric Choices for Desert Safari Clothing

The right fabric can make a significant difference in your comfort during a desert safari. Opt for clothing made from breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics such as cotton, linen, or moisture-wicking synthetics. These fabrics help keep you cool by allowing sweat to evaporate quickly, preventing discomfort caused by excessive perspiration.

Colors for Desert Safari Clothing

Choosing the right colors for your desert safari clothing can also impact your comfort level. Light-coloured clothing, such as white, beige, or light pastels, reflects sunlight and helps keep you cooler compared to dark colors that absorb heat. Additionally, light-coloured clothing can make you less attractive to insects commonly found in desert environments.


  • Closed-toe shoes such as sneakers or hiking boots to protect your feet from the hot sand and potential debris.
  • It’s best to avoid wearing sandals or flip-flops as they offer little protection in the desert environment.
What to Wear in Desert Safari

Accessories for Desert Safari

In addition to clothing, certain accessories can enhance your comfort and protection during a desert safari:

  • A lightweight scarf or shawl can provide extra protection from the sun and dust while adding a touch of style to your outfit.
  • A breathable and moisture-wicking neck gaiter or bandana can help protect your face and neck from the sun and dust.
  • A small backpack or waist pack to carry essentials such as sunscreen, water, snacks, and a camera.

What Not to Wear

  • Avoid Dark Colored Clothing: Dark colors absorb heat, making you feel even hotter in the desert. Opt for lighter shades that reflect the sunlight instead.
  • Open-toe Shoes or Sandals: Open-toe shoes or sandals leave your feet vulnerable to the hot sand and potential hazards in the desert terrain.

Desert Safari Activities: What to Wear

When preparing for a desert safari, it’s crucial to dress appropriately for various activities to ensure comfort and safety. Here’s a breakdown of what to wear for different desert safari activities along with the corresponding links to the activities:
Camel Riding:
Long-sleeved shirt or blouse, loose-fitting pants or a long skirt, scarf or shawl, and closed-toe shoes or boots.
Dune Bashing or Sandboarding:
Practical and comfortable outfits like a t-shirt or tank top, lightweight shorts or pants, light jacket or scarf for layering, and sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots.
Desert Hiking:
Comfortable, sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, lightweight and breathable clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton or linen, layered clothing for temperature changes, hat, and sunscreen.
Evening Safari:
Layered clothing for dropping temperatures, lightweight long-sleeved shirt or blouse, loose-fitting pants or maxi skirt, cozy wrap or stole, and comfortable closed-toe shoes or sandals.
By dressing appropriately for each activity, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable desert safari experience while respecting local customs and traditions.

Read about what else you can enjoy: Dubai Ladies Club.

Traditional Arabic Dresses to Wear

For women, flowing maxi dresses or skirts paired with a long-sleeved lightweight top are suitable options. Harem pants with a matching long tunic top are also a good choice for a more conservative look. It’s best to avoid short shorts, mini skirts, and revealing outfits. For men, lightweight, light-colored linen or cotton pants paired with long-sleeved cotton or moisture-wicking shirts are recommended.


Traditional Arabic dresses for men include the Dishdasha or Kandura, a single-piece ankle-length garment, and the Bisht, a ceremonial sleeveless cloak worn over the Kandura. For women, traditional clothing emphasizes modesty, with long, flowing garments and head coverings like the Gutra or Shemagh.

In conclusion, dressing appropriately for a desert safari is crucial for a comfortable and safe experience. By choosing the right clothing, fabrics, colors, and accessories, you can fully enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and thrilling adventures that desert safaris offer. Keep these tips in mind when planning your desert safari attire to make the most of this unforgettable experience.


Q: Can I wear shorts and tank tops in a desert safari?

A: While shorts and tank tops may seem comfortable in hot weather, they leave your skin exposed to the sun and potential irritants. It’s best to opt for lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants for better protection.

Q: Are there any specific clothing restrictions for women in desert safaris?

A: In some conservative desert safari destinations, it’s advisable for women to dress modestly, covering their shoulders, chest, and knees. It’s recommended to carry a lightweight scarf or shawl to cover up when needed.

Q: Should I bring a jacket or sweater for a desert safari?

A: Evenings in the desert can get surprisingly cool, so it’s wise to carry a lightweight jacket or sweater to stay warm after sunset.

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